Intel has used the start of the IFA show in Berlin this week to officially announce three Ivy Bridge-E enthusiast-grade processors: the Core i7-4960X, Core i7-4930K and Core i7-4820K.
Intel's latest Socket 2011 parts are official, offering three price and performance points for the enthusiast market.
The long-rumoured parts are built on the last-generation Ivy Bridge architecture, rather than the current-generation Haswell architecture, but in its enhanced Ivy Bridge-E form. As a result, the chips require a Socket 2011 motherboard - although are, at least, backwards-compatible with existing X79 chipset boards, as used by their Sandy Bridge-E predecessors.
The range-topping Core i7-4960X, to start, is a six-core chip with Hyper Threading support for twelve simultaneous threads. The chip also boasts a total of 15MB of cache memory, can hit 4GHz in Turbo Boost mode and includes an on-board memory controller capable of driving four channels of DDR3 1,866MHz memory - and all in a 130W thermal design profile (TDP.)
For those who would prefer something a little more budget-friendly, the Core i7-4930K features the same six processing cores with Hyper Threading support for twelve threads but clocked down to 3.4GHz. The cache memory is also reduced to 12MB, and the Turbo Boost ceiling is reduced to 3.9GHz. Strangely, this has no effect on the TDP which remains at 130W.
Finally, there's the Core i7-4820K. Designed for those who fancy the Socket 2011 platform but who don't have a bottomless budget, the chip is a quad-core part - with, again, Hyper Threading support for eight simultaneous threads - running at 3.7GHz and with 10MB of cache. Under Turbo Boost conditions, the chip can hit 3.9GHz, and again has a 130W TDP - a strange figure, given it has two fewer cores than its higher-end alternatives, even if they are running somewhat faster.
All three chips are available to OEMs now, with official pricing set at at $990 for the Core i7-4960X, $555 for the Core i7-4930K and $310 for the Core i7-4820K based on trays of 1,000. Thus far, LambdaTek is the only UK outlet to go live with retail pricing at £890, £491, and £277 respectively.